Social Media Won’t Go Away, Says Recruit UK’s Stuart Leaney. Here’s How to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn has just passed 200 million profiles (notice I haven’t used the term “users”), and it’s now recognised to be the most successful business-oriented social media networking site in the world. So what is it used for? And are you using it correctly?
It sometimes seems as though most ‘professionals’ feel that they just need to have a name on LinkedIn – some don’t even have a picture – and lob up a profile up that’s an incomplete synopsis of nothing. Now, granted, most of us aren’t actively looking for work – yet it seems that most of these people use it to mirror a CV, or to replace it.
But is this effective? How are you best served when attracting and engaging with people? I mean, if you simply wanted people to view your CV, you’d be far better served posting it onto the myriad of online job boards, wouldn’t you?
Why CVs Don’t Cut It
Let me paint a picture. You send your CV to a recruiter and/or hiring manager. They like your CV enough to consider you for an interview, but they require a little more convincing – or simply some more info.
So do they pick up the phone or do they go to LinkedIn? Five years ago, a phone call would have been made. But now it’s a different story. Their first point of call will be LinkedIn.
Now, if your LinkedIn profile simply mirrors your CV, the recruiter will not find the extra information they are looking for. The information, remember, that might determine if you secure an interview. You are, in essence, regurgitating the same information. So what is setting you apart from the competition? Why should they choose you?
Is There A Difference Between The Two?
Yes there is.
A linkedin prospector explains CV as an outbound marketing tool that you use to actively find work – whether it’s a “come and get me” job board or a targeted application. Whereas LinkedIn is more passive and requires employers to find you.
A LinkedIn profile is an overview of yourself in the professional world. It can be less formal, allowing you to show your personality. Whereas a CV, on the other hand, should be tailored to the specific role for which you are applying and should match the terminology used in the job spec/vacancy. The CV should also list specific achievements, which will show the recruiter what value you can add.
Getting The Most From LinkedIn
LinkedIn has numerous applications designed to benefit you. But where to start?
The summary section allows you to write what you want people to see and what you want to be remembered for. This is your introduction, remember. Generic guff won’t cut it, or help you to set yourself apart from the thousands of others.
Recommendations and endorsements allow others to tell the recruiter how brilliant/honest etcetera you are, and how much value you have added to their lives or their professions. If you don’t ask you don’t get – but please remember to do the same for others. This is a community after all.
Promote, Market, Promote, Market.
Shy people don’t get anywhere near maximising their LinkedIn profile. The key to LinkedIn is remembering that it is an interactive networking tool. It gives you the chance to follow companies, be part of groups and post questions, get up to date market information, and generally communicate with experts in your field.
Remember, this is networking. The more people you are connected to, the more people that will see you.
Status Updates and Groups
Let people know what you are doing – whether that’s going to a conference, a meeting, or if you’ve just passed an exam. Engage with people, answer queries and comment on other people’s status updates.
When you comment on an article, a group or a status update, your sphere of influence increases dramatically. If I’m LinkedIn with 1,000 people and you comment on my update, all of my connections see it. That’s free marketing to 1,000 potential clients.
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